Grace and peace to the body of Christ, and greetings to those who abide in darkness.
Saints, we are so blessed to be living in a country where, for the time being, we can worship the God of our choice in the manner of our choosing. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, for with freedom comes responsibility. There will always be those who will abuse their freedom to do evil. To counter this evil, therefore, the freedom to do good must be equal to the freedom to do evil.
This is where the freedom to worship as we choose is important, and why the Christian Church in the West—and particularly here in America—is so important. We are not only free to worship as we choose, but we are free to act on our faith; that is, we are free to do those things that our faith requires us to do. Among those things is loving the brethren:
“We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14).
Our brethren in other countries are suffering persecution by the forces of darkness, for the forces of darkness are running these countries, and their chief goal is to extinguish the Light of God and the children of that Light.
Communism is God-less atheism, and the God-less atheists have always worked to extinguish the Light of the World in Communist countries. Islam claims to worship the same God that we do, but the god of Islam, Allah, is not the God of the Bible; for Islam teaches that “Allah had no son.” But the Bible teaches that God the Father had a Son whose name is Jesus:
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
Allah, then, cannot be the same God that we worship.
Further proof of this is the fact that Muslims are killing our brethren in Christ. If they were our brothers in Christ, this would not be (not to mention the fact that they too would be called Christians).
Our brethren are in trouble. Brothers don’t let their brethren suffer alone, if they can help it. There is little that we can do for them, but we should do that little that we are able to do. Such as we have we should give them freely. Chief among what we have is prayer. We can pray for our brethren. And we can’t pray for them unless we know who they are.
How many of our churches are informing the body of Christ that our brethren in other parts of the world are suffering? I know mine isn’t. The persecuted church should be at the top of the church’s prayer list and certainly near the top of our own prayer lists. There is a reason why God has allowed the Western church and particularly the American church to be free of persecution at this moment: so that we can feel for our brethren and come to their assistance.
That is how God wants to use America with its freedoms and our Constitution which ostensibly protects those freedoms. We should be praying for the suffering saints in the world. But not only should we be praying for them, we should be offering financial assistance to them. Now it is folly to think that we can help every single person out there. But we can help out some of them.
Take, for instance, the case of the Ugandan pastor, Umar Mulinde, who is now receiving treatment in an Israeli hospital for burns suffered when he was beset by Muslims who threw acid in his face. Though the Sheba Medical Center has agreed to treat Mulinde free of charge–and that is a huge blessing—there are other considerations.
If his wife and child remained in Uganda, which is highly likely, they will probably need some financial assistance, as Pastor Mulinde may have been the breadwinner in the family. Also, Mulinde suffered a traumatic incident which left him blind in one eye. Though doctors are working to restore his sight in that eye, there is no guarantee that they will be successful.
This has undoubtedly had some emotional effects on Pastor Mulinde. He will require emotional support as well as physical rehabilitation. Support from his wife and family will be crucial during this time, because, for all the help he is receiving, he is still in a strange country among strangers. He probably has little there in the way of emotional support, so he needs to hear from his wife and child as often as possible, for their benefit as well as his. He will be in the hospital for at least a month, so the telephone bill could get very expensive.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Anyone who has suffered a debilitating accident knows that the financial damage it can inflict on a family is every bit as real as the physical and emotional suffering. Even under the best of circumstances, it can take a tremendous toll. We can defer at least some of the costs of someone like Pastor Mulinde, for every penny that can be saved on some expense—even a phone bill— is a penny that can go toward another.
Consider also the case of Susan Ithungu, a fifteen-year-old Ugandan girl whose father locked her in a closet for six months without adequate food and water. He did this, he said, because Susan had converted to Christianity and changed her Muslim name of Aisha to Susan, a Christian name. As a result of having to lie on her side the entire time, Susan cannot walk or stoop and can only sit for short periods.
There are probably thousands of children who, like Susan, are suffering for their faith. My three youngest children, as a matter of fact, are so suffering. We cannot help them all, but we can help some of them, or at least one of them.
I realize that, in this economy, financial assistance may not be possible for many of us, as it is enough just to take care of our own families. But we can at least pray for the persecuted. And we cannot pray for them unless we know about them. And we cannot know about them unless we care enough to learn about them.
If you care enough, please take the time to pray for Pastor Mulinde and Susan Ithungu. Also take the time to research the persecuted church and ask the Lord what more, if anything, you can do to help.
The Still Man
Copyright © 2011-2012 Anthony Keeton, The Still Man ®. All rights reserved.